43
votes
11answers
3k views

How can I train myself to identify flavors better?

I'd love to be able to cook well and I think a part of that is identifying flavors. We all have different palates, but there are probably some basic techniques that can be used to figure out what the ...
80
votes
19answers
12k views

How do you peel garlic easily?

How should I approach peeling a clove of garlic to get the skin off most quickly? Is it different if I'm doing a bulb whole?
31
votes
7answers
60k views

How do I pick a watermelon at the supermarket?

Lately, every watermelon I bring home form the organic section of the supermarket has not been sweet.  Among the small, seedless varieties, I try to pick the densest. How do I know if it is ripe?  Can ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I cook for just one person? any good cookbooks?

Being single again, I'm thinking it's time I learned how to cook for myself, problem is knowing how to cook, and buy, buying being a significant part of the problem, in quantities that will be just ...
20
votes
5answers
14k views

What varieties of potato would be good for chips / french fries?

What varieties of potato would be good for making chips / french fries that can be cooked in a deep fryer to give a nice golden crunch on the outside, but still be nice and fluffy in the middle?
42
votes
13answers
31k views

Why should I soak beans before cooking?

Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why? I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking ...
19
votes
8answers
9k views

Is there any way to sous-vide without a machine

I live in an apartment and have limited space to store kitchen gadgets. I don't really like the idea of having a machine that is dedicated to one specific task. I particularly want to get into using ...
38
votes
7answers
11k views

Why are there so many different pasta shapes?

Do the different pasta shapes serve any purpose, or are they just for fun? Some difference appear to be cultural (lo mein vs spaghetti), but there are so many different syles of Italian pasta, is ...
20
votes
8answers
151k views

How to keep my (deep frying) oil usable as long as possible?

I have a new deep fryer. I am pleased with its results so far. I am not a 'heavy user' though - say once every 2-3 weeks. I want to re-use the oil a couple of times. The deep fryer is covered but not ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I make a fried egg with completely cooked white but completely runny yolk?

I like a fried egg with all the white cooked, yet all the yolk runny. I normally do this by separating the yolk and white, and putting the yolk in halfway through. Anybody know an easier way?
14
votes
11answers
98k views

What's the best way to tell that pasta is done (when boiling)?

I've tried a number of different ways to tell when spaghetti, capellini and other pasta types are done, but I'm curious if there are more specific rules of thumb. With regular spaghetti, I've tried ...
24
votes
14answers
66k views

How to stop meatballs falling apart when frying

I tried cooking meatballs as a change to what I usually cook but I found that they didn't stay together when being fried. I made the meatballs with about 500g of mince, a chopped onion, some herbs ...
14
votes
1answer
7k views

Room temperature “rest” for fresh mayo?

On the mayonnaise episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown recommends letting homemade mayo sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours before refrigerating. The idea is to let the acid in the mayo kill any ...
10
votes
6answers
42k views

How do I prevent food from sticking to a standard (non-coated) pan?

On cooking shows I always see cooks using ordinary pans without non-stick coatings, and nothing ever seems to stick to their pans. But when I try the same recipes at home, my food always sticks. ...
42
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

And can I use one in place of the other in certain recipes?
34
votes
15answers
11k views

How to clean mushrooms?

Some people say cleaning with water removes the taste from mushrooms. But if I don't use water the mushrooms will carry a lot of dust. Do you have any techniques for cleaning mushroom so I don't ...
27
votes
5answers
28k views

Is “until juices run clear” a valid test for poultry doneness? Why or why not?

I've come across this particular recommendation many times in various recipes and cookbooks and probably even given it out myself once or twice. Poultry is sufficiently cooked when the juices run ...
17
votes
6answers
41k views

How should I prepare dried chickpeas?

I've never used dried chickpeas before, but I'm not wanting for chickpea recipes. The bag of dried chickpeas I got contains no instructions for cooking. I know that I need to soak them in water for a ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

How do you make paneer?

I've seen the ingredient list of a brand of paneer with an ingredient list of: Milk, Citric Acid. Ok, so what is the process from there? I have a few specific questions: What kind of milk do you ...
13
votes
13answers
670k views

Butter substitute for 1 cup of butter for baking

What can I substitute for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes (e.g. cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.)? I'm looking for something that has less saturated fat (and also doesn't have trans fat). Update: ...
13
votes
4answers
11k views

Can I sharpen a knife with sandpaper?

So I was thinking, instead of purchasing a dedicated (and expensive) whetstone with limited coarse(ness?) range, why not use patches of sandpaper in increasing grit numbers (getting finer), stretched ...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

Why stretch and fold vs traditional kneading of bread dough?

Many recent recipes I'm seeing for bread, this one for example, are using a strech and fold technique rather than a traditional knead. Whats the advantage here? It sure seems to work, but I'm not ...
10
votes
4answers
27k views

What to do about yeast that doesn't work?

I am using a new container of yeast from the store; I keep it well-sealed (it's a small jar) and refrigerated. I make sure to use warm water in bread recipes - I check the temperature using a ...
45
votes
8answers
20k views

Is it safe to eat moldy cheese if you slice off the edges?

Whenever my cheese gets too old and has a bit of blue/white mold on the side, I'm not sure whether I should throw it completely out or not. Is it safe to eat if I cut off the edge? Should I cut a bit ...
27
votes
7answers
77k views

How can brown stains be removed from pots and pans?

I haven't been cooking for long — recent college grad — so I'm doing a lot of experimentation and making a lot of rookie mistakes. One of them is shown here for your viewing pleasure: ...
18
votes
6answers
547k views

I need to quickly and safely thaw frozen ground beef, what are my options?

Since reading the answers to my question about defrosting meat on the counter I've been good about giving my meat time to defrost in the refrigerator. However, my plans for tonight have changed and I'...
15
votes
6answers
10k views

Is there any way to avoid grease splatter?

I often cook fries in a skillet. I put about 1/4 cup vegetable oil into a large skillet and heat on high, then I toss in some frozen fries. As soon as I toss them in there is an explosion of grease ...
14
votes
8answers
52k views

Making cake icing look professionally smooth

So you've got a nice, flat-topped cake after learning on Seasoned Advice how to eliminate doming and now you wish to ice it as perfectly smooth as you see it sometimes done commercially: no ridges ...
14
votes
8answers
19k views

Stripping seasoning from cast iron

After reading this article, I want to try to re-season a skillet with flaxseed oil; I'm fairly certain I did a terrible job when I seasoned the skillet several years ago. Is it possible to do this ...
14
votes
1answer
818 views

Are there any general principles of ingredient substitutions?

When trying to determine if an ingredient can be substituted in a recipe, are there any general principles or guidelines that apply?
11
votes
9answers
43k views

How to avoid getting the pizza all watery?

When I cook pizza it gets all watery. There's literarily water formed on top of the dough. I believe it's released by the mozzarella, but I'm not totally sure. Any ideas how to avoid this? Some more ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How to look after non-stick cookware so it lasts?

Over the course of the last 4 years I think I seem to have been working my way through non-stick pans at a ridiculous rate, I think I'm on my 3rd frying pan and 4th wok - or something of that nature. ...
10
votes
5answers
808 views

What are good references for Gluten free baking

I have several members of my family who are GF. Baking for them has become a real challenge. I'm looking for good references to learn to understand how to work with this limitation in my baking. What ...
9
votes
9answers
186k views

Are there any substitutes for Shortening?

I was specifically thinking about the Crisco shortening that is used in baking.
9
votes
2answers
2k views

“Instant” leftover rice? Making leftover-like rice without the wait? (as in for fried rice)

I have a bunch of recipes which use leftover cold rice: rice salads, fried rice, rice cakes, and similar. However, I rarely have large quantities of rice left over in the fridge when I want them, ...
35
votes
15answers
210k views

Does active dry yeast really expire?

I was cleaning out my spice cabinet and deep in the back I found two packages (e.g., six envelopes) of active dry Red Star yeast that expired in March 2009, 15 months ago as of writing this question. ...
30
votes
12answers
64k views

How to rest meat but not let it get too cold?

Having read this question I am persuaded that resting meat is good for its flavour. But if the meat has a good temperature straight after it's been cooked, it seems as though it will be too cold after ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
17
votes
5answers
179k views

How long can eggs be unrefrigerated before becoming unsafe to eat?

A friend of mine accidentally left a carton of eggs on her counter, unrefrigerated, for three days. The eggs had been previously refrigerated both at the store and at home. Now she's planning to do ...
16
votes
8answers
18k views

What can I do to help prevent flatulence from beans?

I love the feijoada (typical Brazilian recipe). For optimal cooking, beans should be soaked in water for 12 hours, but it seems this is the cause of flatulence. What is it in beans that causes ...
13
votes
12answers
29k views

How can I stop fish from sticking to a stainless steel pan?

I think Anne Burrell lied to me. She said fish will always stick to a stainless pan. This is true. No matter how well I lubricate my pan, my fish will always adhere like cement. She also said that the ...
13
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does my steak turn out well done when the temperature probe says it's only rare?

Is it because I used a poor cut of meat? Did I not cook it fast enough? Should I have removed it from the heat sooner? Is my cut too thick? Is my temperature probe too conservative?
12
votes
2answers
14k views

What makes a chewy brownie?

I've tried many different brownie recipes and most of mine bake to a cake-like consistency. The brownie holy grail for me is crusty top chewy brownies. What can I add/remove/do that will make my ...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

Why do my pizzas get such hard crusts?

I usually buy ready made pizza base and use it for baking pizzas. All of my pizzas get a very hard and crispy outer crust. Why so? I thought of brushing some oil on the pizza base before I bake it but ...
25
votes
12answers
118k views

How to quickly soften brown sugar

I had some brown sugar that didn't get properly sealed and so now it's solid as a rock. What's the quickest way to soften it up and get rid of the clumps? Folks have suggested leaving an apple with ...
23
votes
10answers
32k views

Why is it important to add salt during cooking?

This may seem like a silly question, but given that each persons' tastes are different why is it that salt is added during cooking? It seems better to just allow the person eating the food to add ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

How to work with Dried Mushrooms?

I was recently given a bag of dried mushrooms and am unsure how to work with them. What's the best way to use them?
16
votes
1answer
68k views

Conversion rule: how to switch oil and butter?

Just a moment ago, I was making muffins. The recipe calls for 125ml oil. As a footnote, it says that you can replace the oil with 125g butter. Can you do so in every recipe (not just muffins or ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What effect do different slash patterns have on bread oven spring?

Slashes in bread loaves are designed to promote oven spring but there are many different patterns. Some running the length of a loaf, some in a checkered pattern. I've been told this is to promote ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Does putting salt in coffee really remove bitterness?

I have seen people claim that putting salt in coffee enhances the flavour or removes bitterness. Example. Does this really work? If it does, how does it work? Is there something chemical going on, or ...

15 30 50 per page